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The Rogue Wave

February 23, 20245 min read

The Rogue Wave

Waves Crashing

While on vacation this past week, we were oceanfront at a resort with a rock wall. We had the pleasure of watching waves crash up against and over. It was beautiful and quite fascinating to watch nature so randomly at work…no warning, no predictability- just random surprises for people sitting along the wall or passersby walking. It caused me to reflect and think about our sense of randomness in life and business.

Who has been to a waterpark, such as Splash Lagoon, Great Wolf Lodge or even the huge waterpark at West Edmonton Mall? All of these places have a wave pool. The wave pool is a big part of the waterpark experience. We enjoy the waterslides, the lazy rivers, and of course the ever popular big wave pool. We get the notice, usually by some bell or alarm that the wave is about to build. It’s predictable- we see it coming, we know when, we watch it build and we wait for, and anticipate the action.

But the rogue ocean wave, crashing up against a wall, is different- it’s natural, it’s real, it’s unpredictable- and all at the same time, exhilarating and fun to both watch and experience. Isn’t that just like life? Isn’t that just like business? The flip to exhilaration might be fear- but let’s stay in the positive, yes?

1. The Effects

The rogue wave tends to affect us as we trundle along through our daily lives and routines. The key in that last statement is the word routines. We are such creatures of habit and routine- no judgment in that comment - we just are.  We need to know what to expect next- thus why our habits are formed as they are.  

Further, many would argue that there is no good nor bad within the rogue waves of life- only our perceptions of what good or bad might be based on our own life and lived experiences. The perception of good and bad is the basis for an entire book itself, not just a sentence in a blog article, but I digress. In other words are we in exhilaration or fear? 

Recently, prior to a speaking engagement I felt the pang of jitters, butterflies or anxiety kicking in, but that was just a framing of what we’ve been told we are supposed to experience. I then realized that the adrenaline rising within me was nothing more than pure excitement at the particular speaking opportunity. The truth is that I’m one of those odd ducks that loves public speaking- but prior conditioning around the idea that we should have some degree of stage fright - fear based feelings prior to speaking crept in. I was just plain excited- in a positive sense.  Once I realized my genuine joy and excitement, I leaned into it and made the experience a great one for both myself and my audience.

2. The Opportunities

In business, rogue waves hit us all the time in the form of unnoticed opportunities that seem to fall in our lap, or staff shortages that stress us out. The thing is- so much of it is unpredictable, beyond our control. These rogue waves in business and life often toss us into some form of chaos. But, not unlike the rogue wave, it’s actually not all entirely unpredictable- if we are watching, we can truly see the rogue wave forming, building, rolling towards us- can’t we? 

If we are paying attention. 

If we are watching for the signs. 

The ocean rogue waves appear random. In reality, many factors including the changing of the tide patterns through the day, the wind (and its direction), boats passing by creating wake and wave activity- all of it when observed actually creates a certain pattern and predictability. When we aren’t paying attention to the various signs it creates shock, surprise- momentary chaos. But in reality, the signs are there and obvious. We could have guessed it was coming and been ready for it. 

When our head is down, when we are focused on what is right in front of us, not observing signs and signals all around us in life and business, that’s when those apparently random and rogue waves crash into us. How do we stay in tune with all that we need to do daily, while also watching for the signs of the “rogue wave”? Well, having a team of trusted advisors around, a mastermind group or even, I dare say- a business coach is a great place to start. Someone alongside helping you notice the details and the signs of that wave building is critical to not getting soaked when the rogue wave hits you. You’ll see it, prepare for and ride it with pleasure- just like at the wave pool at the water park. There’s a phrase in business that states, you can only manage what you measure.  Are you measuring the signs, the numbers, the right factors in your business that will actually tell you when that not so rogue wave is about to hit? Do you know WHAT to measure?

Nature may appear random. The world, our businesses and such may all appear random at times- but they never are. There are always signs. It’s important to be watching for said signs.  

Are you? Want to have a deeper discussion about this? If so, let’s talk over coffee- whether in person or virtually.  At Infinite Business Solutions, We Develop Business Leaders.

Crashing Waves


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Jeff Walters

Jeff Walters is an accomplished and award business owner. He is the CEO and Founder of Infinite Business Solutions.

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